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Nine Tips To Protect Your Credit Report From Identity Theft

Updated on January 12, 2011

USA is a capitalist country and has a very powerful credit system. If you build your credit right, you are fine. You can get loans without any problems. If you don’t, you mess up, you’re done, and it’s very hard to rebuild your credit score after a fall. Because of the value of credit and credit rating, certain people will try to steal your identity and use your credit reports to perform frauds with the banks and other financial institutions like taking a loan or grabbing a high value credit card utilizing your identity. Yes it is possible, you got a perfect credit rating, you can become a victim of identity theft, so to avoid someone stealing your identity and credit rating, go through the below mentioned nine tips to secure your credit reports from identity theft:

Have you been a victim of ID theft?
Have you been a victim of ID theft? | Source

1. If you live in US, it is a good idea to check your credit report. Some states give you the right to request a free credit report every year. When you do, check for inconsistencies such as old credit card and/or charge accounts that you had requested to be closed and who all have been inquiring about your credit, etc. Equifax, Transunion and Experian are the top credit reporting agencies that not only help you view and analyze your credit report but also help you dispute a certain item in your credit report to help avoid identity theft.

2. You should always destroy your credit card receipts and any mail that has your social security number on it, bank account number, etc. Don’t just throw them in the trash, as items thrown in trash are also recoverable.

3. The #1 source of identity theft is still improperly disposed paper material and not the Internet alone. It could also be out of your hands since it sometimes comes from companies you deal with throwing out stuff without shredding it.

Protecting your identity is important - shred all confidential information about your personal finances and banking.
Protecting your identity is important - shred all confidential information about your personal finances and banking. | Source

Buy an ID Defender Shredder Online and Protect Against Identity Theft

4. Buy yourself a shredder that makes it almost impossible to reconnect the pieces. It is recommended to buy a shredder that can also shred credit cards and CDs. For the paranoid, you can use that and also wet it with water (or something else) and put it in the trash. Make it almost impossible to recover the information to avoid ID theft.

5. Don't pay bills by putting the envelope in your mailbox for the mail person to pick up. Go drop it in a box yourself and get your mail out of your mailbox ASAP every day.

6. The Office of Inspector General of United States Postal Service (USPS) might help you if you are a victim of identity theft.

Identity Theft Protection Company Get Prevention Insurance

Prevent ID theft - Prevent misuse
Prevent ID theft - Prevent misuse | Source
Shred your credit cards after closure
Shred your credit cards after closure

7. Hire a credit monitoring agency, as they will notify you of activity on your credit bureau profiles and you will get a combined report every year. It is a wise investment. Don’t skip them if you have a perfect credit score.

8. Some banks will temporarily suspend your debit card or credit card without giving you intimation. They do this if they will notice that a card has been used twice within an hour at the same grocery store. That’s a “red flag” in their opinion. If it happens to you, call the bank and thank them for their concern about your security.

9. Use Identity Guard for more security. Most of these services have several different levels of services depending on how much credit info you want.

Above were nine tips to help you avoid identity theft and protect your credit report from being stolen. It is not really easy to find who is stealing your identity but keeping a track on your credit records, shredding confidential financial information, and disputing errors in your credit report can help you prevent this problem.

An Article on Preventing Identity Theft and Credit Report Monitoring
An Article on Preventing Identity Theft and Credit Report Monitoring | Source


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    • ftclick profile image

      ftclick 7 years ago

      great ideas to use. I always used to go post office to mail it. Now I just use online bill-pay and paperless billing.

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 7 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thank you so much Jeff and Simone. ID theft is becoming a great problem here in India too. There are many people here coming up with problems related to credit card ID theft and many other cases but I agree this issue is not as rampant in India as it is in United States and other developed countries.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 7 years ago from San Francisco

      Identity theft sure is scary- thanks for expounding on the various things one might do to avoid it!

    • profile image

      Jeff_McRitchie 7 years ago

      Identity theft is a horrible crime and it's scary how common it is. This Hub contains some great information on how to prevent it from happening.